Labonte Joins Hall Of Fame

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Bobby Labonte will join the Hall of Fame Racing team in 2009 and drive the No. 96 out of the Yates Racing stable.

Labonte, the 2000 Cup Series champion, will drive a Ford for the team after HOF and Yates aligned their two teams. Previously, the HOF team fielded Toyotas with an affiliation with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Ask.com will join NASCAR this season and will be Labonte's primary sponsor.

"I'm excited to be part of what Ask.com is bringing to our sport," Labonte said. "In a time like this, it's great to see a sponsor come in with technology and ideas that will help all of the competitors in NASCAR and enhance the experience for all of our fans, no matter which driver or team they cheer for."

Doug Yates and Max Jones will continue as co-owners of Yates Racing, while Tom Garfinkel and Jeff Moorad will continue as co-owners of Hall of Fame Racing.

"Jeff Moorad and I are excited to add Ask.com as a primary sponsor on the No. 96 car," Garfinkel said. "We've been working closely with Ask.com for several weeks now, and their talented management team has come up with more creative ideas to serve NASCAR fans than I've seen in a long time. With our new Yates partnership and having a true champion and class person in Bobby Labonte behind the wheel, we're expecting great things on the race track as well."

Yates Racing also fields the No. 28 (Travis Kvapil), No. 38 (David Gilliland) and No. 98 (Paul Menard) Fords. No word yet if sponsorship has been found for Gilliland and Kvapil.

Labonte was rumored to sign a deal with Earnhardt-Ganassi, which now leaves the team looking for a driver for the No. 41 Chevrolet. Another possibility is change of sponsors/numbers within the EGR organization if three of the four cars can only be fielded full-time.

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